"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on unrassonable man." (George B. Shaw)

Argentine Sergio Avello is part of a new trend of artists who conceive art work in interaction with the environment. Bringing together light, sound, technology, concept, public places, society, and new media, they generate an artistic and social happening (Art in Situ, Site Specific Art, Environmental Art, Public Art, Art in Public Places, Architectural Intervention). These new forms of art are also endorsing the move towards intelligent cities.
On the invitation of MALBA - Colección Constantini, Avello created his 7 - meter - high piece Volumen, a giant urban vumeter, in operation since December 2006 in the open air on the Museum's esplanade.

Inspired in the city of Buenos Aires, Volumen is an aesthetic indicator of ambient sound, wich translates audio data into light, in real time. It indicates the intensity of the sound it captures, with colored light, making the invisible visible:
Green indicates normal. acceptable sound. Well-being. The possibility of moving forward.
Yellow indicates tolerable, intense sound. A call to attention. A warning.
Red indicates loud, unpleasant sound. It bothers. It encourages reducing the intensity.

"Predicting the future is easy. What is difficult is to know what is happening now."

Volumen is instant environmental information; a marker of environmental quality standards, indispensable to preserve our biological capital.
Light and sound are internal sensations stimulated by environmental vibration. When a body is knocked or rubbed, the molecules that conform it move rapidly, i. e., they vibrate, and these vibrations, transmitted through the air, reach the ear in sound waves that propagate, producing successive condensation and rarefaction of the air itself in a straight line (sound ray).
The World Health Organization (WHO) considers 50 decibels (dB) as the desirable ceiling, sounds exceeding 70 dB are unpleasant, and if they go beyond 90 dB they become harmful. A standard conversation is 30 dB. According to the WHO, Buenos Aires is the noisiest city in Latin America, though since 2004, the city has passed legislation to control sound pollution.

"Do not leave for tomorrow what yesterday you left for today."

It is human beings who are responsible for environmental pollution, who only think of our own importance as "encapsulated" individuals and of our inmediate circle. Self-centeredness is not self-love; it comes from an inner void that need to be constantly filled. Self-centered behavior turns a deaf ear to his contaminating effects: carbon dioxide emissions, strident sounds and visual effects, all types of waste, even toxic and in large quantities.
Quality life depends on our decisions, decisions depend on knowledge, and knowledge depends on perception. Intellectual capital.
It is important understand the tolerance limits of our health, understand that loud sounds and noises harm, our auditory cells, irritete and tense our state of mind, causing unpleasant states which depreciate our emotional capital.

"If you don't know where you are going, you will probably end somewhere else." (Laurence J. Peter)

The most important thing to anyone is how that person feels, and we always want to feel good. Even thoughts affects us because they create feelings. According to Macedonio Fernandez, to be is to feel. Therefore, either we improve the general conditions or we will become ever more insensitive. Insensitivity that ward off pain also numbs enjoyment. And let's not forget that sensitivity also warns us of any danger. If we choose not to feel, we are depriving ourselves of being.

"The conscience is like an unspecific immunological reply. There is no evolutionary limit that indicates how much conscience a species may acquire. And there is no end to the degree of advantage of adaptation that the gaining of conscience may confer on an individual or the species." (Terence McKenna)

Persons or things do not exist without an environment. We all share biological, family, social, economic, and cultural systems.
We integrate and are responsible parties in the interactive network of life, and each one may act one's own level -without making excuses for the lack of activity or negligence of others- encouraging and increasing what is good. Social identity is an element of an individual identity, Identity is a self-concept, an imaginary representation, determined and changeable of something deep and immeasurable: it is creative freedom.
Creativity is there at all times and in every place seeking to manifest itself.
Sergio Avello's Volumen may be considered a work of art of international scale, and as such, it is defined in is excellence of form, in a love for creativity and the beauty of life itself.

Erika Escoda

This text can be copied and be distributed whenever it is mentioned the author.

More references of the text:
The impact in the ear: photos of auditory cells
Administrations in Network: humorous phrases
Model of Five Capitals
Terence McKenna

Correctors: Vera Capilla / Facundo Sanchez


_ News _

(((VOLUME))) it continues until March, shortly we will speak on the matter.


_ Reactable: tangible musical interfaces _

Reactable is in the line of creations that interact with light, sound, objects and people. In blog of design Instinto Guapo they describe it very well: “Reactable is a electro-acoustic instrument of music with a concrete and multiuser surface. Several artists simultaneously share the control on the instrument moving physical devices on the table and constructing different topologies from audio frequency. The instrument was developed by an equipment of `luthiers digital' under the direction of Dr. Sergi Jordà and developed in the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Spain.”
These videos show as it works:

Demo 1, duration 03:31

Demo 1, duration 03:12

, duration 03:31

Commentary: when I was preparing this publication, a mail via the michKult! arrived to me thank you very much inviting at Instinto Guapo, that saved time and work to me!

_ Destination Buenos Aires _

Photo from MoCo Loco, Modern Contemporary Design.


_ construction in collaboration of sonorous landscapes. _ is an open project of social dinamización and frees whose primary target is the diffusion and promotion of the sonorous phenomenon and its exploration with social and documentary aims. You can participate to add your recordings. Welcome to”

One treats, basically, of a map of the Iberian Peninsula with globes-links signalizing the different sonorous registries from the participants of the project. To the right there is a column with the sounds of the map ordered by categories: when click one, they appear in the map all the registered places, for example, natural sounds.

In the ../documentación,
section of the Web, explains their proposal: “The western obsession to favor the visual aspects of the culture caused the contempt of other perceptivas capacities, like the ear, relegating to background those existenciales experiences considered less significant, to a great extent, by its ephemeral character.

In century XX we attended an increasing interest by the sonorous phenomenon beyond music and of the acoustic physics in which the environmental sounds are revealed as an interesting object of interdisciplinary study (anthropology, sonorous, bioacústica ecology, cognitivas sciences, architecture, artistic creation…). Or they are natural or a construction product of the operation of the modern societies, the sounds that surround to us comprise inevitable of our lives and of our collective memory, appearing like a inestimable material for the understanding of the cultures and the societies that produce them, they use them or they perceive them. Therefore, the appreciative attitude to is of a place not only must be positive, if not that is due to study to identify those components that are worth the trouble to conserve, or, even, to recover. An approach to is of a place is an approach to their immaterial patrimony, that can take shelter with strictly documentary aims, or, in the case of “”, like gross matter for the later cultural analysis, the artistic creation and in order to provoke debate and cooperation in the network.

The sounds are nonrenewable matters and the fact to capture them and to expose supposes them a prolongamento of its life, generating new alive and mutant spaces.

To perceive, to include/understand and to conceive our sonorous identity, the one of our places, their coherence and its idiosyncrasy are a necessary and healthful exercise. To find the balance bioacústico of a place, to create pictures, “Sonorous Postal”, and to construct to a situation map (online) and a description of these places through sua sonorous landscape contribue to the construction of the identity of a geographic zone; they are it like patrimony, are it like historical document.

All thanks to the possibilities that the network like democratic horizontal system offers and. With this aim a dedicated software was developed to the free publication of sonorous landscapes (Social Soundscapes) that allows the usuary cualquera to participate raising audio to the system and automatically to place it in the geographic place in which they have been recorded (the consensuado sonorous patrimony). This it is the main objective of this project whose space of documentation you are seeing. “
In order to facilitate the understanding when visiting, they can use the automatic translator of the Cervantes Institute.

The photos belong to one of the participant projects, Sushi para 4. This info, and more, comes from blog Nómade, of Juan Freire. We followed it, they can write commentaries, clickeando here in “commentaries”, and will be published as rapidly as possible.


_ The impact in the ear _

Ciliary cells in the human ear

The internal ear has ciliary denominated pilosas cells (above), which turn the physical stimuli cerebral impulses. The exposition to strong sounds causes that this luck of forest in miniature is as if a storm had devastated it (down). One of the functions of vúmetro “Volume”, is to notice on the standards of tolerance of our sensitivity and our health to us. This information comes from


_ Similar and simultaneous work: "Volume", in a Museum of London. _

It causes to me astonishment to know that a work ' Volume ' exists in London, similar and exhibited in simultaneity with "Volumen" of Avello:

is an installation formed by vertical columns of light and sound, aligned in the center of the garden, that interact with the human movement on having walked between his columns, creating a series of audio-visual experiences.

Volume can be contemplated in the gardens of “Victory and Albert Museum” of London. This piece is a collaboration between the designers' group United Visual Artists (UVA), Robert Del Naja (aka 3D) of Massive Attack and Neil Davidge (part of his company of musical production “ one point six ”).

This project is a part of the collection “PlayStation Season" a series of events of interactive art promoted by Sony.
From November 24 until January 28, 2007. Free entry.

Links to more information: VIDEO / Volume and United Visual Artists / Robert Del Naja / Massive Attack / Victory and Albert Museum / Volume / PlayStation Season / Pixelsumo / GráficaColectiva / coffe please

In the right column of this blog, it arrives, there is a link to an automatic translator of texts and/or of web pages who can facilitate the reading.
We followed it, can write a commentary clicking in “comentarios”.

_ Post-opening _

Of now in more, already inaugurated, we will see how "Volumen" interacts with the environment. It will be in functions, somewhere here, until September, 2007.

At first, chatting with Sergio (Avello, the author), we notice that the young people are who more understands and appreciates the work. Also there are critics of art that good comments and foreign journalists have made they have been interested in writing notes.

On the other hand, any innovative slow work in being included; many people, even inside the world of the art, tend to classify the innovations inside old schemes, they it is difficult to open to the new conceptions of reality that an artist can propose.

The new generations, the scientific advances, the technological development, the social interactions, the economy of the information, the shared knowledge and enormous quantity of things are producing many changes to global scale. The people of different disciplines exchange information on this matter and they are interested in coordinating contexts The people of different disciplines exchange information on this matter and they are interested in coordinating contexts and references so that we all could face ourselves towards the best possibilities.

We followed it, can write a commentary clicking in “comentarios”.